Top Metaphor Quotes

Browse top 576 famous quotes and sayings about Metaphor by most favorite authors.

Favorite Metaphor Quotes

1. "If you know your mom is a great killer, and you think of your mom as a great killer, and you know she would kill for you, not just metaphorically, but really end lives for you, without hesitation, you don't want to make her sad and worried because how can you repay her for all the things she's willing to do? You can't."
Author: Adam Levin
2. "For somewhere," said Poirot to himself, indulging in an absolute riot of mixed metaphors, "there is in the hay a needle, and among the sleeping dogs there is one on whom I shall put my foot, and by shooting the arrows into the air, one will come down and hit a glass house!"
Author: Agatha Christie
3. "Together a brick and a blanket create the perfect metaphor for life. Will you be a brick and make something of your life, or be a blanket and sleep your life away?"
Author: Amy Summers
4. "I think people's perception of a rich girl is literal, but metaphorically I embrace it as being rich in love, spirit, joy and religion. So it's not about money."
Author: Angie Stone
5. "Laura remarked that science was dependent upon poetry, that all scientific description was metaphoric."
Author: Anne Rice
6. "She'd like to say something about the metaphors of space. She won't, but she'd like to. In many religions, the sun is viewed as an analogue to God, and in some Near Eastern cults, the fire cults that interested Nietzsche, the sun is a diety, the origin of all energy, heat, light, and life. A masculine force, this sun, countered by the feminine lucent moon, mutable, pale pink at the horizon, grayish white overhead, and silver in daytime. The moon is a friend to women. Its attraction, its capacity to pull objects toward itself, is traditionally a metaphor for womanly force. Lovers know and understand the moon as a sign for love: a cliché, certainly, but one that does not wear out. "The Moon," they whisper, infinitely."
Author: Charles Baxter
7. "If you let the alembic cool, metaphor becomes superstition."
Author: Dale Pendell
8. "If this all sounds melodramatic, well that, too, isn't a bad metaphor for anxiety—as a kind of drama queen of the mind. If you have ever been friends with a drama queen you know how taxing it can be. To have one in your head is enough to make you comatose."
Author: Daniel Smith
9. "Depression has been likened to both a black cloud and a black dog. For someone like Kelsea, the black cloud is the right metaphor. She is surrounded by it, immersed within it, and there is no obvious way out. What she needs to do is try to contain it, get it into the form of the black dog. It will still follow her around wherever she goes; it will always be there. But at least it will be separate, and will follow her lead."
Author: David Levithan
10. "ON A DAY LATE THAT JANUARY, I READ AGAIN "EAST Coker" by the poet T. S. Eliot, and saw something that I had forgotten: the stark but beautiful metaphor by which he described God as a wounded surgeon whose bleeding hands apply a scalpel to his patients so that "Beneath the bleeding hands we feel / The sharp compassion of the healer's art."
Author: Dean Koontz
11. "I generally read every night befi=ore I fall asleep: Brad does too. I find it comforting to lie beside my husband, each of us with a book in our hands. I see it as a period of calm and intimacy, and as the perfect metaphor-together, yet individual-for our marriage."
Author: Debbie Macomber
12. "I think of the area of magic as a metaphor for the homosexual situation. You know, magic which is banned and dangerous, difficult and mysterious. I can see that use of magic in the Cocteau films, in Kenneth Anger and very much in Eisenstein. Maybe it is an uncomfortable, banned area which is disruptive, and maybe it is a metaphor for the gay situation."
Author: Derek Jarman
13. "So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us."
Author: Derrick Jensen
14. "In ordinary times we get along surprisingly well, on the whole, without ever discovering what our faith really is.If, now and again, this remote and academic problem is so unmannerly as to thrust its way into our minds, there are plenty of things we can do to drive the intruder away. We can get the car out or go to a party or to the cinema or read a detective story or have a row with a district council or write a letter to the papers about the habits of the nightjar or Shakespeare's use of nautical metaphor. Thus we build up a defense mechanism against self-questioning because, to tell the truth, we are very much afraid of ourselves."
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
15. "In order to think and infer it is necessary to assume beings: logic handles only formulas for what remains the same. That is why this assumption would not be a proof of reality: 'beings' are part of our perspective. ... The fictitious world of subject, substance, 'reason,' etc., is needed-: there is in us a power to order, simplify, falsify, artificially distinguish. ... What then is truth? A moveable host of metaphors, metonomies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions; they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force,"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
16. "Truth is a mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, anthropomorphisms, in short a sum of human relations which have been subjected to poetic and rhetorical intensification, translation and decoration […]; truths are illusions of which we have forgotten that they are illusions, metaphors which have become worn by frequent use and have lost all sensuous vigour […]. Yet we still do not know where the drive to truth comes from, for so far we have only heard about the obligation to be truthful which society imposes in order to exist"from, "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense"."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
17. "When I return to the world, I will be a man. I will walk among you. I will lick my lips with my small, dexterous tongue. I will shake hands with other men, grasping firmly with my opposable thumbs. And I will teach all people that I know. And when I see a man or a woman or a child in trouble, I will extend my hand, both metaphorically and physically. I will offer my hand. To him. To her. To you. To the world. I will be a good citizen, a good partner in the endeaver of life that we all share."
Author: Garth Stein
18. "This [oatmeal] represents your soul in its pure state. Your soul on the day you were born. You were perfect. You were happy. You were good.Now, enter Concept Number Two: crap. Don't worry, folks. I don't use actual crap up here. Only imaginary crap. You'll have to supply the crap, using your mind. Now, if someone came up and crapped in your nice warm oatmeal, what would you say? Would you say: 'Wow, super, thanks, please continue crapping in my oatmeal'? Am I being silly? I'm being a little silly. But guess what, in real life people come up and crap in your oatmeal all the time--friends, co-workers, loved ones, even you kids, especially your kids!--and that's exactly what you do. You say, 'Thanks so much!' You say, 'Crap away!' You say, and here the metaphor breaks down a bit, 'Is there some way I can help you crap in my oatmeal?"
Author: George Saunders
19. "Suppose the word mountain meant metaphor, and dog, and Bible, and the United States. Clearly, if a word meant everything, it would mean nothing. If, now, the law of contradiction is an arbitrary convention, and if our linguistic theorists choose some other convention, I challenge them to write a book in conformity with their principles. As a matter of fact it will not be hard for them to do so. Nothing more is necessary than to write the word metaphor sixty thousand times: Metaphor metaphor metaphor metaphor…. This means the dog ran up the mountain, for the word metaphor means dog, ran, and mountain. Unfortunately, the sentence "metaphor metaphor metaphor" also means, Next Christmas is Thanksgiving, for the word metaphor has these meanings as well."
Author: Gordon H. Clark
20. "For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that's why I've put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I'm no great runner, by any means. I'm at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that's not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be."
Author: Haruki Murakami
21. "The fairy tale emanates from specific struggles to humanize bestial and barbaric forces, which have terrorized our minds and communities in concrete ways, threatening to destroy free will and human compassion. The fairy tale sets out to conquer this concrete terror through metaphors."
Author: Jack Zipes
22. "I know the expression love bloomed is metaphorical, but in my heart in this moment, there is one badass flower, captured in time-lapse photography, going from bud to wild radiant blossom in ten seconds flat."
Author: Jandy Nelson
23. "I watched that plant in the office every day.Watered it; misted it. I loved thinking about it like G.T. said, but part of me was worried the tree surgery wouldn't take. Something would go wrong and then I"d be stuck with a metaphor that couldn't go the distance."
Author: Joan Bauer
24. "The metaphor is perhaps the most fruitful power of man. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him."
Author: José Ortega Y Gasset
25. "Every myth is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors."
Author: Joseph Campbell
26. "That to fly requires chaotic, sometimes even violent passages--becomes a metaphor for all of life's most meaningful endeavors."
Author: Kelly Corrigan
27. "The fields...are white already to harvest" (John 4:35 KJV), or as other versions put it, "ripe for harvest."...One part of the harvest metaphor we may have missed was the importance of timing-there is a season for both sowing and reaping, and sometimes there is a season of simply waiting and watering."
Author: Keri Wyatt Kent
28. "I suppose she's right. It's like a metaphor for life: No one wants an ornery old goat, but we can't resist opening the door ayway. We can't keep from hoping."
Author: Lauren Myracle
29. "Nature offers us a thousand simple pleasers- Plays of light and color, fragrance in the air, the sun's warmth on skin and muscle, the audible rhythm of life's stir and push- for the price of merely paying attention. What joy! But how unwilling or unable many of us are to pay this price in an age when manufactured sources of stimulation and pleasure are everywhere at hand. For me, enjoying nature's pleasures takes conscious choice, a choice to slow down to seed time or rock time, to still the clamoring ego, to set aside plans and busyness, and to simply to be present in my body, to offer myself up.Respond to the above quote. Pay special attention to each of your five senses as you describe your surroundings. Also, you need to incorporate at least one metaphor and smile in your descriptions."
Author: Lorraine Anderson
30. "Stories pass the experienced world back and forth between them as a metaphor, until it is worn out. Only then do we realize that meaning is an act. We must repossess it, instant to instant in our lives."
Author: M. John Harrison
31. "Questions, inside the larger mystery of sorrow, which contains us and our daily transit, and is large enough indeed to contain the whole shifting tidal theater where I make small constructions, my metaphors, my defenses. Against which I play out theories, doubts, certainties bright as high tide in sunlight, which shift just as that brightness does, in fog or rain."
Author: Mark Doty
32. "The secret of mastering creativity in any field is knowing how to work with metaphor without getting caught in language..."
Author: Martha Beck
33. "Younger love, it seemed, was mainly about the idea of potential--the illusion that magical transformations were bound to occur when the person you think you love has a miraculous impromptu awakening after some metaphorical lightning bolt, made out of your wishes and projections, suddenly brings them to their senses. On the other hand, older love is all about what you are hoping is still possible, after you have mourned the death of the idea of yourself as manufacturer of miracles. Older love starts with the unpleasant truth that expecting a person to change for the better spontaneously, simply because you wish it, makes as much sense as counting on the lottery for next month's rent."
Author: Merrill Markoe
34. "It may also be that, quite apart from any specific references one food makes to another, it is the very allusiveness of cooked food that appeals to us, as indeed that same quality does in poetry or music or art. We gravitate towards complexity and metaphor, it seems, and putting fire to meat or fermenting fruit and grain, gives us both: more sheer sensory information and, specifically, sensory information that, like metaphor, points away from the here and now. This sensory metaphor - this stands for that - is one of the most important transformations of nature wrought by cooking. And so a piece of crisped pig skin becomes a densely allusive poem of flavors: coffee and chocolate, smoke and Scotch and overripe fruit and, too, the sweet-salty-woodsy taste of maple syrup on bacon I loved as a child. As with so many other things, we humans seem to like our food overdetermined."
Author: Michael Pollan
35. "Smoke and mirrors' is a useful metaphor for the ways in which organised abuse has chided conceptualisation and understanding. The chapter provides an overview of cite often incendiary debates over organised abuse before going on to suggest that critical theories on gender, crime and intersubjectivity may offer new insights into the phenomenon."
Author: Michael Salter
36. "Leroy's reasoning is dry as a razor, and Chantal agrees: love as an exaltation of two individuals, love as fidelity, passionate attachment to a single person - no, that doesn't exist. And if it does exist, it is only as self-punishment, willful blindness, escape into a monastery. She tells herself that even if it does exist, love ought not to exist, and the idea does not maker her bitter, on the contrary, it produces a bliss that spreads throughout her body. She thinks of the metaphor of the rose that moves through all men and tells herself that she has been living locked away by love and now she is ready to obey the myth of the rose and merge with its giddy fragrance."
Author: Milan Kundera
37. "Where to start?Everything cracks and shakes,The air trembles with similes,No one world's better than another;the earth moans with metaphors."
Author: Osip Mandelstam
38. "Why do the X-Men need another girl telepath?" she asked. "This one has purple hair." "It's all so sexist." Park's eyes got wide. Well, sort of wide. Sometimes she wondered if the shape of his eyes affected how he saw things. That was probably the most racist question of all time. "The X-Men aren't sexist," he said, shaking his head. "They're a metaphor for acceptance; they've sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them." "Yeah," she said, "but—" "There's no but," he said, laughing. "But," Eleanor insisted, "the girls are all so stereotypically girly and passive. Half of them just think really hard. Like that's their superpower, thinking. And Shadowcat's power is even worse—she disappears."
Author: Rainbow Rowell
39. "Recall the metaphor I used in chapter 4 relating the random movements of molecules in a gas to the random movements of evolutionary change. Molecules in a gas move randomly with no apparent sense of direction. Despite this, virtually every molecule in a gas in a beaker, given sufficient time, will leave the beaker. I noted that this provides a perspective on an important question concerning the evolution of intelligence. Like molecules in a gas, evolutionary changes also move every which way with no apparent direction. Yet we nonetheless see a movement toward greater complexity and greater intelligence, indeed to evolution's supreme achievement of evolving a neocortex capable of hierarchical thinking. So we are able to gain an insightinto how an apparently purposeless and directionless process can achieve an apparently purposeful result in one field (biological evolution) by looking at another field (thermodynamics)."
Author: Ray Kurzweil
40. "What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants."
Author: Robert Hughes
41. "Story is metaphor for life and life is lived in time."
Author: Robert McKee
42. "Travel, I was coming to realize, was a metaphor not only for the countless options life offers but also for the fact that choosing one option reduces you to the parameters of that choice. Thus, in knowing my possibilities, I also knew my limitations."
Author: Rolf Potts
43. "I hate metaphors. That's why my favorite book is Moby Dick. No frou-frou symbolism. Just a good, simple tale about a man who hates an animal."
Author: Ron Swanson
44. "I think zombies have always been an easy metaphor for hard times. Because they're this big, faceless, brainless group of evil things that will work tirelessly to destroy you and think of nothing else."
Author: Seth Grahame Smith
45. "If the metaphors in everyday speech are a clue, then all of us associate blankness with virtue rather than with nothingness. Think of the moral connotations of the adjectives: clean, fair, immaculate, lily-white, pure, spotless, unmarred and unsullied."
Author: Steven Pinker
46. "Martin was dafter than a syphilitic polecat - where do I get these metaphors from?"
Author: Stieg Larsson
47. "That is because you don't yet know how to deal with time," said Wen. "But I will teach you to deal with time as you would deal with a coat, to be worn when necessary and discarded when not.""Will I have to wash it?" said Clodpool.Wen gave him a long, slow look."That was either a very complex piece of thinking on your part, Clodpool, or you were just trying to overextend a metaphor in a rather stupid way. Which, do you think, it was?"Clodpool looked at his feet. Then he looked at the sky. Then he looked at Wen."I think I am stupid, master.""Good," said Wen. "It is fortuitous that you are my apprentice at this time, because if I can teach you, Clodpool, I can teach anyone."
Author: Terry Pratchett
48. "It's a metaphor of human bloody existence, a dragon. And if that wasn't bad enough, it's also a bloody great hot flying thing."
Author: Terry Pratchett
49. "People know how to deal with a desktop intuitively. If you walk into an office, there are papers on the desk. The one on the top is the most important. People know how to switch priority. Part of the reason we model our computers on metaphors like the desktop is that we can leverage this experience people already have."
Author: Walter Isaacson
50. "Men command fewer words than they have ideas to express, and language, as Jean Paul said, is a dictionary of faded metaphors."
Author: Walter Lippmann

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If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
Author: C.S. Lewis

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